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Statue: Cow of the Insane.

Statue: Cow of the Insane

Field review by the editors.

Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse Colantha Walker, the "World's Champion Cow" according to her tombstone, was raised on the property of the Northern Michigan Insane Asylum. In her 15-year life she produced 200,115 pounds of milk and 7,526 pounds of butterfat. She did it in the 1920s, long before today's era of bovine hormone supplements.

Ms Walker also served as a therapy animal for the Asylum residents, and when she died in 1932 she was buried on the grounds, with much ceremony and the "World's Champion" headstone.

She was then forgotten, for many decades, until her grave was visited and promoted by nosy travel writers poking around the abandoned Asylum property.

The extensive grounds were subsequently subdivided, and the section containing the grave was turned into a public park. Famous once more, Traverse Colantha Walker was commemorated in July 2022 with a life-size bronze statue, just across the road from her grave. It's supposedly an accurate likeness of the cow, taken from photographs. Cow hoof prints are embedded in the statue's surrounding concrete walkway, as if TCW's ghost had returned to inspect her effigy.

Statue: Cow of the Insane

Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park

1490 Red Drive, Traverse City, MI
Southwest of downtown. From US-31/S. Division St. turn west at the stoplight onto MI-633/Silver Lake Rd. Drive a half-mile. Turn right at the stoplight onto Silver Drive, then quickly make a left at the Historic Barns Park sign. Drive about 100 yards. You'll see a low, white building on the left; the statue is just past it.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Grave: Cow of the InsaneGrave: Cow of the Insane, Traverse City, MI - < 1 mi.
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In the region:
Woolly Mammoth, Elk Rapids, MI - 14 mi.

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